Abu Dhabi: Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said the UAE has taken steps to reduce tensions with Iran, with the aim of building confidence and to avoid confrontation. He made the comments Monday during the Abu Dhabi strategic debate.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iranian interference in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and have taken steps to defuse tensions. We have no interest in confrontation because the region will pay the price for decades to come, ”said Dr Gargash.
“We can together build greater trust between us and move towards a sustainable status quo. It will be better for Iran to work in cooperation with its neighbors, ”he said.
The UAE and other Gulf states take a dim view of Iran’s regional expansionism and its interference in the affairs of Arab states, such as Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
“Bridges with all countries”
He added, “We are working hard to establish communication and bridges with all countries, even those with which we have disagreements. “
Dr Gargash stressed the value of constructive engagement in a rules-based order, noting: “Confrontation is not the most productive path, and instead diplomacy and improved communication are the best way forward. Therefore, we are working hard to establish communication and bridges with all countries, including those with which we have serious disagreements. “
“This priority of diplomacy and communication over confrontation was also evident in the Abrahamic accords and our subsequent engagement with Israel,” Gargash said.
“In nearly half of the members of the Arab League, the institutions of the sovereign nation-state are seriously challenged by internal conflicts based on sectarianism, governance failure and extremism, which are often aggravated by outside interference, ”Gargash continued.
“We cannot stand idly by and watch these voids filled by malicious actors. But as the region emerges exhausted from the pandemic and years of conflict, we still need to step up our diplomatic efforts to address these issues.
“Thus, the UAE’s recent contributions to support a difficult transition in Sudan – or to address the worrying situation in Ethiopia – have focused on using our relations and good offices to defuse, encourage dialogue and avoid a path of confrontation, ”Gargash said.